A feeling of ‘connectedness’ is the most important factor in a child’s ultimate success and happiness, according to Vickie Falcone, author of ‘Buddha Never Raised Kids and Jesus Didn’t Drive Carpool’.
When we build a strong family connection with our children, parents can experience fewer power struggles and more harmony at home. She proposes that connectedness can:
- dramatically increase a child’s level of cooperation
- help decrease misbehavior
- motivate children to listen better
- create more harmony at home
- bring you profound peace of mind
The Secret to Creating More Cooperation and Peace at Home: Connect!
Ms. Falcone states, “Connection to our children colors our parenting experience more than anything else, so it’s essential that we make it our number one priority.”
Steps for Improving Connectedness
- Slow down. Set your intention to connect.
- Get down on the same level as your children when you speak to them.
- Maintain friendly eye contact.
- Touch your children in loving ways.
- Acknowledge their agenda and feelings.
- Ask them questions.
- Give them information and let them know what you expect.
Meeting Essential Needs to Improve Family Connection
Ms. Falcone also shares her concept of PHIL ‘EM UP! Becoming aware of children’s four essential needs and the importance of meeting them can also help in establishing connection.
The acronym for the four needs is PHIL:
children need to be Powerful,
In order to build strong relationships with our children, we need to give them choices and control over a few things (so they can feel POWERFUL), acknowledge their feelings (so they can feel HEARD), ask their opinions (so they can feel IMPORTANT) and show them unconditional love (so they can feel LOVED).